Two held for forcing Sabarkantha villagers to dip hands in hot oil
The Sabarkantha district police have arrested two local leaders for allegedly forcing at least 40 people of their community to dip their hands in boiling oil to prove that they had voted for him in the panchayat elections held last Sunday.
When the results were declared on Tuesday, Dinesh Parmar, who had contested for the post of sarpanch of Deria village in Bayad taluka of the district, lost.
By Wednesday, the police had identified at least 31 people from the community who were forced to do this ritual to prove their loyalty and thus burnt their hands.
The number is likely to increase further as there were about 150 people, including women, who were reportedly victimised by a belief that their hands would go unhurt if they were telling the truth that they had voted for Parmar.
Two held for forcing Sabarkantha villagers to dip hands in hot oil his associate Amrut Parmar, and booked them for criminal intimidation, causing grievous hurt and inducing person to believe that he or she will be rendered an object of the divine displeasure, among other sections of the Indian Penal Code.
According to police, soon after the results of gram panchayat elections were declared, Parmar called a meeting of his community members (Thakore) at a temple of Bhathiji Maharaj, popular among this community located in the middle of the village.
By the time nearly 150 people reached there, oil in a frying pan was already bubbling. Soon, people were asked to dip their hands in the oil to prove their "loyalty" to Parmar, who allegedly claimed that hands of those who voted for him will go unhurt while the "betrayers" would feel the heat.
On Tuesday evening, 20 people who could not bear the pain visited the primary health centre and later approached the police. One of the victims, Parvin Parmar, lodged an FIR at the Ambaliyara police station.